Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Our Gas Heater

We had a very subtle scare yesterday.

We live in a large studio apartment that only has one gas heater. Since it has started getting cold, we have often left it on during the time that we're home - sometimes letting it run on a lower setting during the night.

Brandon has noticed (and been frustrated by) the very heavy gas smell that it puts off, as well as the humidity it produces. But, we just put that down for the cost that it required for our home to be warm.

However, yesterday morning I was trying to light the heater and the lighter I bough in the last month or so wouldn't produce a flame. Frustrated, I added "Lighter" to the grocery list. After going to the grocery store I came home and lit the heater. No problem.

At some point in the afternoon/early evening, the heater turned off. It sometimes does that, so I didn't think anything of it. However, when I went to light it, the new lighter that I'd just purchased would not light. I was SO frustrated. Somehow I got it lit.

When Brandon got home a little while later, he remarked on the annoying smell of the heater. I said I'd light a candle to try and help diffuse the smell and I tried to use the new lighter again and it would NOT light. Brandon came over and tried to help with me with the new lighter, grabbing his little lighter on the way over. He tried to use his lighter to see if he could light the longer lighter. And even his little lighter wasn't working very well. He finally got the little lighter lit (alliteration, anyone?), and then lit the candle. But after watching it for a minute, it went out.

At this point I was done. I'd made dinner just before Brandon got home and I was starting to get hangry (both from a lack of food and the whole lighter situation). So I sat down and started eating.

In the meantime, Brandon took the lighters and went over to the window, opened the window, and tried to light it again. He said it was a black and white difference. In the house, the lighter wouldn't work. By the window, a huge flame.

Essentially, there wasn't enough oxygen for any of the lighters to light easily, and not enough to keep a candle going. In other words - kind of scary!

We stepped out after dinner and bought another space heater. No more leaving the gas heater on for very long (since cracking a window defeats the purpose of turning it on in the first place.

I'm so thankful we figured this out. So thankful we didn't die in our sleep from a lack of oxygen. So...if you're having trouble lighting a flame in your house, consider checking on the air quality.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

It's official! Utah!

It's official! As of this past Monday, I am not only licensed in Utah, but my car is as well. I feel like a real Utah resident now (three years later). And I had my shortest visit to the DMV ever on Monday when I went back for my plates. They pretty much took care of everything the time before when I went in to get a temporary plate. This time, I walked in, was handed a number, and my number was immediately called. I went to my desk and the lady took my certifications, typed in a few things, and handed me my new plates and stack of papers. And I was done! Five minutes from the time I walked into the building to the time I walked out - tops. Pretty amazing.

We've had one or two dustings of snow (winter is coming!), but nothing series in the main part of the valley yet. I simultaneously hope it waits as long as possible to come, but hope that it does come, unlike last year's non-existent winter. We need water here in  Utah. Although, in the back of my mind I do have to admit that I loved having little to no inversion last winter. So, you win some, you lose some.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bonfire Night Update

Happy Guy Fawkes Day/Bonfire Night! It is one of my favorite holidays even though its history has little to nothing to do with the United States. My initial introduction to the holiday began when I read Witch Week from the Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones (in which the history of Guy Fawkes plays a role) back in elementary or middle school. Subsequent reprisals of his person and story such as V for Vendetta only strengthened my enjoyment of the holiday. But no bonfires are planned for tonight (at least not at the moment).

Things are going great in our little corner of the world. I'm contemplating creating a new blog on WordPress (transferring this blog to there). I played around with this awhile ago, but didn't know enough about what I was doing to do very much with the system. I'm generally not overly excited with the Blogger layouts and don't know enough about coding to do much with that either. However, I DO know much more about WordPress now. So, that's a possibility. If I do that, I think I'd probably launch it at the beginning of the new year. We'll see.

We had our first snow in Utah this morning. A little on the rooftops, more on the mountains, and a few flurries that didn't stick a little while ago (though it looked like it was coming down!). Between the general setting of the thermostat (so much more accessible to me here at the gallery than at my previous office), the space heater beneath my desk, my cornbag, and the general selection of cardigans, hoodies, and coats that I wear, I think I'll stay nicely warm this winter! But (to the sound of the birds chirping outside), I expect we'll have some warm days yet before the snow sets in.

We're headed down to Saint George tomorrow for the Snow Canyon Half Marathon on Saturday! I have completely shirked my running the last ten days. Zero motivation. But, given the copious training in the last sixteen weeks, I'm not concerned. In fact, I'm very excited about this half, though I'm not sure exactly why. Barring any injuries, it will likely be a personal best/record for me. Cool!

Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner and we have plans to go down to Saint George for Thanksgiving and then off to Huntsville for Christmas. I'm looking forward to both very much and am knee deep in Christmas gifts so that I can distribute some of them during Thanksgiving. I don't mind receiving gifts, but I infinitally prefer giving them. I enjoy the process of deciding what to make or get each person or family on my list (although I prefer starting form lists for my loved ones of possible ideas!).

We've sort of adopted the little cat that was hanging out around our home. We've yet to give him a name, as we suspected that he probably had another home, but as he spends more and more time with us, we may eventually choose a name. Our routine is to let him in when we get home from work, keep him upstairs with us through the evening, and then let him out in the morning when we leave, leaving one of the garage doors slightly open so he can sneak in and out if he wants to sit on the couch downstairs during the day but be able to go outside to go to the bathroom, etc. As it has grown chillier, he is often to be found sitting on the couch when we get home, eager to run up the stairs with us and pester us for cuddles. He likes to be near us (when our hands are free). When we're at the computer I often have him on my lap or he sits on a blanket that is on the desk portion that separates Brandon and I. And if not there, on either one of the couches or the air mattress, curled up looking adorable. At present, we enjoy all of the wonderful parts of having a cat with very few of the negative. He goes outside to use the bathroom, doesn't claw any of the furniture, and doesn't have a rogue mean streak (the only time his claws come out are when he is kneading us). His one bad quality: he sheds slightly. Otherwise he is well behaved, cuddly, attentive, and low maintenance. We love him.

We've been (finally) attacking the hurdle of getting my car registered here in Utah. I've lived here for far too long (almost three years) without going through the process, but here we are. My registration expired at the end of October and I managed to procrastinate the process until the last week of October. But, when we took my car in to do the safety and emissions tests, it failed both. Loose muffler for the safety test and a shaky engine sensor for the emissions test. Both can be fixed, but the parts weren't in by the end of October so it is still waiting to be fixed. As such, in order to keep driving it around until it is fixed, we went in and got a temporary permit. So we're close! Long overdue, but almost there.

Off the top of my head, that covers most of the recent excitements we've had. As I said before, we're doing great!